A holistic approach to the admission process

In addition to GPA and SAT or ACT scores, our admission committee weighs many factors during the course of the application process, including classroom performance, the rigor of high school curriculum, quality of essays and recommendations, extracurricular activities, talents, character, and life experiences. But what's most important for you to know is that your application will be considered individually, on its own merit.

Minimum High School Course Requirements

  • 4

    units of English

  • 3

    units of math (algebra I, II, geometry)

  • 3

    units of social science

  • 3

    units of science (of which 2 must be lab science)

  • 2

    consecutive units of foreign language


There is no absolute "cutoff" for grades. Classroom performance would generally present competitive applicants in the top quarter of their high school class. The difficulty of curriculum and competitive nature of the high school are also important factors in the admission process.


Double Majors

At the time you apply for the first-year admission, you will have the opportunity to indicate the two areas of study you are most interested in pursuing. If you want to be considered for admission to the Cox School of Business, you need to indicate that at the time you apply. When students get to SMU, they work with their academic advisors to determine the best course of study for all the majors they would like to pursue.

Choice of Major/Admission

If you are planning to major in Art, Film (BFA), Dance, Music, or Theatre, a required audition or portfolio is a critical factor influencing your chance of admission. Otherwise, all first-year SMU students are accepted as "pre-majors" in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, regardless of their intended major. If you want to pursue a major in finance, accounting, management, marketing, and other areas of business administration, you must indicate that interest on your application to be considered for direct admission to the Cox School of Business.


Home school graduates must submit the application for admission, SAT I and/or ACT scores, an academic portfolio/transcript, two letters of recommendation, a personal essay, activities resume, and the Home School Supplement.


Prospective athletes may call the recruiting coordinator in the SMU Department of Athletics to make arrangements with the coach of the particular sport. For more information, visit http://www.smumustangs.com.


Students do not have to be Methodist to attend SMU. Actually, about 16% of the SMU student population is Methodist, while 26% is Roman Catholic. The remainder of the population represents other Protestant denominations and other religions, including Judaism, Buddhism, Greek Orthodox, and Islam, and includes non-religious students.


May 1 is SMU's and the national deposit deadline. Students admitted through Early Decision I and II must pay their deposit within two weeks of receiving their admission decision. An exact due date for those students will be listed in their admission packet.

The non-refundable $685 Orientation, Housing, and Matriculation deposit includes:

  1. $335 orientation fee
  2. $100 housing deposit
  3. $250 matriculation fee

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